So much of the iPad’s fate has been hypothetical up until now: will it succeed? Is Apple’s plan too ambitious? How will consumers react? Well, Apple has given us the first hard numbers for its tablet device: 300,000 sold as of midnight on Saturday, 3 April.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs added: “It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world — it’s going to be a game changer.”
By comparison, Apple sold 270,000 original iPhones in the first 30 hours or so of its availability. That’s right, the iPad outsold the iPhone on day one—and that’s for a “third” device in an unproven category. You could argue that the ability to pre-order increased the window for people to buy, but I think that washes out with the fact that almost everybody who pre-ordered had never so much as touched the device.
Comparisons to later iPhone models aren’t too shabby either. Apple sold one million of both the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS in each of their first weekends—that’s an average of about 333,333 per day. It took the original iPhone 74 days to reach its millionth sale, so all eyes will be on Apple to see when the iPad hits that milestone.
And make no mistake: both apps and e-books are going to be a big part of the iPad’s success. In addition to the iPad sales number, Apple said that iPad users downloaded more than a million apps from the App Store and more than 250,000 e-books from the iBookstore in the first day alone. Said Jobs: “iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad.”